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What is an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)?
An Employee and Family Assistance Program sometimes known as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), provides plan members with 24/7/365 access to a range of short-term counselling services for mental health, stress, financial, eldercare, marital issues and much more. Adding an EFAP to your group benefits plan is an important part of caring for the mental and physical wellbeing of any business’s workforce. Many insurance companies will include a basic EFAP with their group benefits plans but not all do this. If your plan does not include an EFAP, it often cost’s only a few dollars per employee per month to implement.
What Benefits can an EFAP Provide?
- Short-Term Counselling – Most EFAP’s will provide access to short term counselling services in person, by phone, video chat or online to help with issues related to stress management, work/life balance, family and mental health issues, anxiety, depression, financial and legal assistance and more.
- Key Person Advice – This is typically a dedicated support line for key personnel such as supervisors and managers, put in place to help deal with difficult employee workplace situations such as Substance Abuse, Inappropriate Behavior, Employee Conflict, Safety Concerns, Workplace Bullying, and other difficult workplace situations or conflicts.
- Online Health and Wellness Resources – Most EFAP’s provide access to some sort of health and wellness information online. This would include information on healthy eating, exercise, lifestyle changes stress management and a range of online health and wellness courses.
- Family Support Services – This service refers to personalized assistance with family planning, parenting, childcare, eldercare, home support and more.
- Trauma Response Service – Trauma or critical incident response is designed to address any situation faced by personnel that may cause them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions.
- Privacy – All EFAP’s are completely confidential. The information, treatment plans, or advice given is never shared with an employer or manager and helps give employees the confidence that they can receive help for their mental and physical wellbeing in a completely confidential way.
Return on Investment?
According to a study completed by Morneau-Shepell an Employee and Family Assistance Program can reduce health related lost productivity by 25% providing a “2:1 to 4:1” return on investment. This typically means absenteeism can drop while productivity, and the overall mental and physical health of employees increases. Let’s always remember, no person wants to work for a company that they feel does not care about their wellbeing, adding an EFAP is one small way for business to show they take employee wellbeing seriously.
With Mental health now making up the vast majority of disability claims, now is the time to talk about adding an EFAP to your benefits plan so all plan members can be proactive in and have immediate access to a vast array of resources designed to help them improve their overall mental and physical health.